PRESTO Cards now available at select Shoppers Drug Mart Stores in Hamilton and Burlington

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Progress in Hamilton

Metrolinx is investing in Hamilton to improve access to transit and help create an integrated transportation system for all in the GTHA. More »

 

GO Transit adding Weekday GO Train Service to Niagara Falls in January

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Today, Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation, announced that the long-asked-for weekday GO train service to Niagara Falls and St. Catharines on the Lakeshore West line Will be introduced in January.

“Our government is keeping our promise to get people moving and make life better for everyone in Ontario by expanding GO train service to Niagara Falls,” said Yurek. “We are working with our railway partner, CN, to use the existing rail infrastructure to expand GO Transit service for people in Niagara Falls and St. Catharines four years sooner than promised.”

Beginning on January 7th, 2019, people travelling by GO Transit between Niagara Falls and Toronto’s Union Station will benefit from a new morning trip with an evening return every weekday.

The existing weekday 6:39 a.m. eastbound trip from West Harbour GO Station will now begin at Niagara Falls at 5:19 a.m., stop at St. Catharines at 5:41 a.m. and continue on to West Harbour, making all stops to Clarkson then running express to Union Station as usual and at the current times.

The existing weekday 5:15 p.m. westbound trip from Union to West Harbour will be extended to make a stop at St. Catharines at 7:22 p.m., and arrive at Niagara Falls at 7:47 p.m.

“This is great news for people in Niagara Region,” said Oosterhoff. “Weekday GO train service between Niagara Falls and Toronto will help connect the region and create new business opportunities.”

For the last several years the seasonal Niagara GO train has bypassed Hamilton’s West Harbour GO Station in the North End. It remains to be seen if this will mean seasonal Niagara trips will also start to service West Harbour GO.

HSR relaunches improved online trip planner; SMS alerts coming soon

According to a release from the City of Hamilton, over the coming weeks, this real-time information will be available across five service channels: web, phone, Twitter, digital signage at terminals and a new SMS text feature.

The updated trip planner website hsrnow.hamilton.ca is now mobile-enabled, accessible regardless of the device or browser. Customers will be able to use the website to set up alerts to be sent to them for their favourite routes or stop numbers. Alerts can be customized based on time of day, day of week and they can be sent via email or SMS text (or both).

SMS text (which has not yet launched) will be a new option for customers, enabling them to find out when they can expect their next bus at any given stop. The city anticipates this to be a very popular option, particularly for those who only have texting plans for their phones, including many youth and students.

The relaunched trip planner and upcoming SMS alerts join the existing Bus Check telephone information system and the @HSRnow Twitter account. While the city’s release also touts digital signage at terminals which provide real-time information, these are only available at the MacNab Transit Terminal and have yet to be rolled out to anywhere else in the city.

New articulated HSR buses ordered for 2019

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The City of Hamilton and the HSR have put in an order for more articulated buses.

The order will see eleven new New Flyer XN60 buses added to the fleet. The order is for early 2019 delivery. These buses will replace all of the remaining 0600 articulated buses (6 buses remain) as well as replace five other 40′ buses.

The replacement of standard 40′ buses with articulated 60′ buses will help expand capacity.

Articulated buses are used primarily on routes 1 KING (weekends), 5 DELAWARE (weekends) 10 B-LINE EXPRESS, 25 UPPER WENTWORTH (weekends), 26 UPPER WELLINGTON (weekends) 27 UPPER JAMES, 35 COLLEGE, and 51 UNIVERSITY.  The buses are also typically used on special event shuttles and the TICATS EXPRESS.

HSR testing electric buses

Photo via New Flyer

Photo via New Flyer

The HSR hasn’t had electric buses since the last of the trollies were retired several decades ago, but the transit agency in the City of Hamilton is now testing new electric buses.

Starting this week, the HSR began testing an electric bus, operating on various routes across the city. This model, the New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE (XE35), is one of three that HSR will be testing over the next few months.

This isn’t the first time the HSR has tested out a new model of bus. It’s common for a transit agency to try out new buses before committing to an order.

“Investigating and testing this new technology is an opportunity for the City of Hamilton to see possible greater potential benefits,” the city said in a media release.  “The possible addition of Electric buses is supportive of the development of renewable resources which support the City of Hamilton’s priorities.”

The electric bus will not be in service, but will instead shadow existing buses on “a proposed itinerary that provides for different route geography, including three different escarpment crossings, long and short-range route options, different spans of operation to test battery drain, as well as reaching as many different areas of the city that residents may benefit from a less intrusive vehicle.”

This could be indicative of parallel testing of new or modified routes.

The test stems from a motion by Mayor Eisenberger March 19, 2018 Public Works Committee meeting directing staff to investigate, and possibly test, electric buses in preparation for future procurement.

Source: City of Hamilton

Notice: Holiday Service Monday for Thanksgiving

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As a reminder, the Hamilton Street Railway will be operating on a holiday schedule for Thanksgiving this Monday. On this date many routes will be operating with reduced frequencies while some routes will not be operating at all.

The following routes will not be in service Monday:

City to run pilot project putting Wi-Fi on select HSR buses

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The City of Hamilton announced today that they are beginning a new pilot project. The first week of October, the HSR will be conducting a two-month pilot project that will see free Wi-Fi provided on 15 buses, operating on various routes across the city.

Buses will be clearly marked with a Wi-Fi symbol beside the front door and on the destination sign. The inside of the bus will include information posted in the “Take One” slots near the driver explaining how to access the Wi-Fi.

Similar to other areas where the City of Hamilton offers free Wi-Fi, customers will need to accept the Terms and Conditions in order to access Wi-Fi on our buses.

MacNab Transit Terminal Extends its Hours

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The City of Hamilton has announced that the hours for its downtown transit terminal, the MacNab Transit Terminal, will see it’s service hours extended to be consistent with service hours for bus service.

Starting today, Monday September 24th, 2018 the hours will be:

  • Monday – Saturday: 5am – 1:30am
  • Sunday & Holidays – 5am – 12:30am

The new hours add an additional one hour in the morning all week and a half hour later on Sunday evenings to the winter hours. They would have gone into effect on December 1st.

Notice: Holiday Service Monday for Labour Day

As a reminder, the Hamilton Street Railway will be operating on a holiday schedule for the Labour Day this Monday. On this date many routes will be operating with reduced frequencies while some routes will not be operating at all.

The following routes will not be in service Monday:

Additional service to the 51 UNIVERSITY added starting Monday

The HSR will be starting seasonal service for route 51 UNIVERSITY a week early this year in support of McMaster University’s Welcome Week.

In advance of the Fall Board schedule taking effect Sunday September 2nd, 2018, HSR has added extra service to the 51 UNIVERSITY a week early.

Operating on a Saturday schedule, the 51 University Special will now see service from approximately 11:20am through 2:30am starting Monday, August 27th through Saturday, September 1st inclusive. Buses will operate approximately every 20 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes after 8:00pm.

More information from the City of Hamilton about the McMaster University U-Pass including changes and restrictions.

GO Transit schedule changes effective September 1st

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GO Transit is adjusting some of their schedules effective September 1st, 2018. The changes include service changes for bus trips, however there are no changes to train service to either the Hamilton GO Centre or West Harbour GO Station.

Here are the changes which start on Saturday, AlSeptember 1st.